New Report from Lee Rainie on the Future of Jobs and Job Training

Andrew Young — May 03, 2017

Today Network member Lee Rainie and Janna Anderson released a new Pew Research Center report on the Future of Jobs and Job Training. The report, developed as a partnership between Pew and Elon’s Imagining the Internet Center, is based on input provided by over 1000 expert “technologists, scholars, practitioners, strategic thinkers and education leaders.” It seeks to gain. Given the (quickly accelerating) proliferation of robots, automation and artificial intelligence, the report seeks to increase our understand of two central questions: Will well-prepared workers be able to keep up in the race with AI tools? And will market capitalism survive?”

The canvassing of diverse experts from across sectors identified five central themes related to the future of jobs and job training:

  • The training ecosystem will evolve, with a mix of innovation in all education formats
    • More learning systems will migrate online. Some will be self-directed and some offered or required by employers; others will be hybrid online/real-world classes. Workers will be expected to learn continuously
    • Online courses will get a big boost from advances in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI)
    • Universities still have special roles to play in preparing people for life, but some are likely to diversify and differentiate
  • Learners must cultivate 21st‑century skills, capabilities and attributes
    • Tough-to-teach intangible skills, capabilities and attributes such as emotional intelligence, curiosity, creativity, adaptability, resilience and critical thinking will be most highly valued
    • Practical experiential learning via apprenticeships and mentoring will advance
  • New credentialing systems will arise as self-directed learning expands
    • While the traditional college degree will still hold sway in 2026, more employers may accept alternate credentialing systems, as learning options and their measures evolve
    • The proof of competency may be in the real-world work portfolios
  • Training and learning systems will not meet 21st‑century needs by 2026
    • Within the next decade, education systems will not be up to the task of adapting to train or retrain people for the skills likely to be most prized in the future
    • Show me the money: Many doubts hinge upon lack of political will and necessary funding
    • Some people are incapable of or uninterested in self-directed learning
  • Jobs? What jobs? Technological forces will fundamentally change work and the economic landscape - There will be many millions more people and millions fewer jobs in the future - Capitalism itself is in real trouble

Other common areas of interest include:

A diversifying education and credentialing ecosystem: Most of these experts expect the education marketplace – especially online learning platforms – to continue to change in an effort to accommodate the widespread needs.  Some predict employers will step up their own efforts to train and retrain workers. Many foresee a significant number of self-teachingefforts by jobholders themselves as they take advantage of proliferating online opportunities.”

“A focus on nurturing unique human skills that artificial intelligence (AI) and machines seem unable to replicate: Many of these experts discussed in their responses the human talents they believe machines and automation may not be able to duplicate, noting that these should be the skills developed and nurtured by education and training programs to prepare people to work successfully alongside AI. These respondents suggest that workers of the future will learn to deeply cultivate and exploit creativity, collaborative activity, abstract and systems thinking, complex communication, and the ability to thrive in diverse environments.”

Read more here